Leveraging Wellness and Athletics for Growth

Cornell College
Athletic and Wellness Center

Mount Vernon, Iowa

With a mission to better serve their students’ health and wellness needs, Cornell College engaged Kahler Slater and Mortenson Construction to design an updated home for their athletic and wellness programs. College leadership understood their renovation and expansion project would directly support Cornell’s ability to recruit new students, enhance Rams Athletics programs, secure competitive events, and provide a positive impact on every student and student-athlete. 

The two-level Health and Wellness Center creates a vibrant hub for campus life and fosters a sense of community. The addition/renovation includes an expanded lobby space for gathering before and after events in the renovated gymnasium and fieldhouse on event days, and as a vibrant student lounge on other days. The design also provides Cornell with ample team meeting space, group exercise studios, and athletic training and office suites. Updated locker rooms serve student-athletes, visiting teams, and the Cornell community.

The design includes bold and strategic use of environmental branding to convey the Cornell legacy. By strategically designing a band of the College's signature purple that reaches floor to ceiling and then extends across the facility using acoustic panels, the design not only reinforces the Cornell brand, it assists with wayfinding and ties the entire facility together.

Powerful Results

Honor Award
American Institute of Architects (AIA) WI Chapter, 2023
Award of Excellence
International Interior Design Association WI, 2024
Gold Award
American Society of Interior Designers WI Chapter, 2023
Louis I. Kahn Citation
American School & University Magazine Architectural Portfolio Award, 2023
Increase in enrollment (Over 2020’s class of 315.)